Alan Kay and Steve Jobs contributed to the concept of the personal computer as it is understood today, particularly in regards to its interface, multimedia capabilities and multitasking operation.
Kay, working for Xerox, proposed a machine called a Dynabook, envisioned as a personal computer that does not require specialized training to operate.
To facilitate such use, he invented the graphical user interface (GUI), which is now the standard for computer interfaces. In Kay’s proposal, this interface would also be modeless, allowing users to freely navigate between different types of media. Although the Dynabook was never produced, it became the template for future computers, notably the Xerox Alto.
Later, Steve Jobs developed the GUI concept, refining its concepts for Apple’s Macintosh computer. The Macintosh also became the first mass produced computer with built-in audio capabilities. Developing Kay’s ideas further, the Macintosh was designed to be as intuitive to its users as possible, and had advanced multimedia capabilities.
By now, the use of a GUI and multimedia features became inseparable from personal computers, smartphones, and similar ubiquitous devices.